Let Gary DebateSubmitted by legalizeliberty on Mon, 10/01/2012 - 12:21
For the first time since Ross Perot’s campaign twenty years ago, it seems as though a third party presidential candidate could be allowed into the televised debates. Gary Johnson, the former Governor of New Mexico, has gained a large enough following, sufficient ballot access and (theoretically) adequate poll numbers to be granted a spot on stage alongside Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, a prospect that has invigorated alternative party enthusiasts and independent voters from all ends of the spectrum. But these celebrations, egged on by the jubilant activists who are readying themselves for an electoral revolution, may be a bit premature.
As of this writing, Johnson still hasn’t been invited to Wednesday’s debate. Time is rapidly running out, and even after three sponsors rescinded their financing in protest of Johnson’s exclusion, the bi-partisan Commission on Presidential Debates is trying to pretend as though the former governor doesn’t exist. It’s the same old song and dance voters have endured for the past sixteen years. The thought of a three-person debate sends chills down the calculating spines of both major parties, which aside from controlling the American electoral process are also actually in charge of the debates. Long gone are the days when the League of Women Voters, completely neutral and civic minded, selected who could bring their message to the masses. Now the Republicans and Democrats control the show, and both are wary the ardently anti-war and rigidly fiscally conservative Libertarian could pull enough votes from either nominee to “spoil” the election.